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Are Poems Written “Solely for the Poem’s Sake?”

When he published “The Raven,” in early 1845, Edgar Allan Poe received very little for his efforts. He reportedly received around $9 of $10 for the published work which remains famous in the 21st century.

If Poe were alive today, and writing works like “The Raven” and “Annabel Lee,” what do you think he could be earning?

What did Poe mean when he said that a poem is “written solely for the poem's sake?” Was he insinuating that earning no money for producing brilliant work is acceptable? Explain your answer.

If Poe was, in fact, suggesting that producing brilliant work without pay was acceptable to him, would that differ from 21st-century views? In what way?


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